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The Plot Whisperer

ImageAs you (probably) already know, I’m a writer. No, I haven’t published anything yet, but that will change pretty soon. But I am, nonetheless, a writer. And in my pursuit of more knowledge on the subject, I read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, by Martha Alderson. Now, you have to understand I’m not the kind of writer who sits down and plots her whole story. I usually have an idea I want to write about and I just sit down and write. After I’m done, then I’ll structure it for the editing process. I found that to be helpful. It helps me see the story as a whole, without limiting me to follow a structure before even starting. That’s because I don’t really know all that’s going to happen in my stories. I see plotting as creating expectations for a story, and not following the plot would seem disappointing to me. That’s why I only plot after finishing my first draft.

But what does the book has to do with it? Well, I read the book in the hopes it would help me understand plot a little more and maybe help me improve as a writer. I was, however, a bit skeptic over the whole idea, since I don’t plot before writing the story, but I found out The Plot Whisperer was a great help. It’s not a book only for those who plot beforehand, and it has helpful tips for all kinds of writers. It talks about “the universal story,” the plot planner, the scene tracker, the barriers we find along the way, and much more. It also has exercises here and there that can help you with your writing.

Anyway, I found the book very helpful, and if you’re a writer (beginner or not) I certainly think you should take a look at this book. Then come back and tell me what you think.

 

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Got Writer’s Block?

I love to write. I do. Create stories and different characters. But at times I find myself stuck. Sometimes it’s because it’s a complicated scene I’m having a hard time describing in a way I find satisfying. At other times it’s because I feel like my knowledge is not enough and I need to stop to do some research on the subject before I can continue with it.

However, from time to time, as I proceed with a story, I’ll find myself stuck for no reason at all. Or so it seems. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s wrong or how to continue, and that’s why I found this map by NY Book Editors very helpful.

Book Editor Map

And of course, sometimes I’m just procrastinating. Sometimes I’m just finding excuses not to write because I think there’s something else I need to do or because I see something shiny. Sometimes I walk to the table to get some paper and a pencil (yes, I write with a mechanical pencil and I have lots of them all over the house, just in case) and then I look out the window and “Look! A squirrel!” And the squirrel is eating and that makes me hungry so I have to find something to eat. But should I eat something sweet or not? Maybe a yogurt. Or cottage cheese. I’ve been eating a lot of cottage cheese later, that thing is addicting. Now I’m thirsty, let me get something to drink. And that’s how my ADD mind works. And now you’re probably both hungry and a little dizzy. You’re welcome.

 

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Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

I’ve been trying to write a certain story that’s in my head. I know what I want from it (kind of) but I’m still having a hard time doing it. Sometimes I just feel like I have to go back and fix the little things I know I have to fix in the first few chapters. Other times I feel like if I do that I’ll never get to the end of it. As a consequence, I end up stuck in between those two options.

In the meantime, I try to find inspiration here and there to help me write the story. And I love when I watch something that has nothing to do with my story but then I see this one thing that just seems to fit, that just makes a lot of sense. Do you know what I mean?

JJ tells Penelope someone’s watching her. Penelope looks at him sitting at his computer desk. She turns back to JJ and asks, “Do you believe everything happens for a reason?”

Penelope walks toward him. He stands up.

“You,” she says, acknowledging him.

“You,” he replies; a sigh of relief escapes his lips. The coolest girl he has ever met now has a face.

“You’re good,” she states.

“You’re better,” he replies.

They look deep into each other’s eyes. The universe comes to a stop. Everything around starts to disappear. They are the only ones standing there.

“Kevin Lynch,” he says, offering her his hand.

“Penelope,” she says, accepting his hand in hers.

His lips mouth her name. No sound comes out, for his lips have no intention of being heard. They are merely repeating what the mind has already memorized. Kevin smiles.

Falling. Unexpectedly.

I guess everything does happen for a reason.

Criminal Minds – S03E09

P.S.: Bonus points if you have seen this scene before. If not, you can see it here. And yes, you can still get the bonus points if you watch it now.

 

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Where to find inspiration

Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration to write. I’ve been working on a few stories and I have to say, it’s taking me longer than I expected. Okay, I don’t really have that much time to work on them to begin with, but still, it’s going pretty slow.

One of the things I like to do to try to find inspiration is to surf the internet. I look for pictures and quotes that can have a connection to the story I’m writing, something that relates to one of my characters, and I save them all in a folder on my laptop. The problem is that now I have so many things in said folder I get lost.

writers-block

Any tips? How do you find inspiration?

 

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Taking a break

Sorry I was absent for so long, but I had to take a break from my blog for a while to focus on my writing.

How is it going, you ask? Wonderful! That is if you consider not being able to write as good as working on one’s writing. But I tried. I also had to work on getting a new place and catch up on my reading.

All in all, it was a nice break. And now I’m back. Hopefully with a few good posts soon. Or let’s just say a few posts. Let’s not focus on the good, at least not for now.

 

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It’s not always easy to translate our ideas into words

Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck. I can’t move forward, I can’t move back. I stare at the blank page in front of me and nothing. The words just get stuck in my head and refuse to pour down the paper from my fingertips. When that happens I usually google the internet for inspiration. I collect quotes upon quotes that can relate to my characters or the story itself. But after all the research, I feel even more lost.

I was talking to a friend about that and we decided to meet every Thursday, being that the only day we both could afford to do it, to discuss and share ideas. It certainly helps to have someone I trust listen to my ideas. Not only I get instant feedback, but it forces me to put my story into words. I feel my stories. I know them, I have them inside of me, but until they can be put into words that can reach someone else, it is as if they are just asleep. They need to be awaken to become alive.

It's not always easy to translate ideas into words.

Today my mind is full of ideas. They are buzzing inside my head. I hear them, but not clearly enough to allow my fingers to translate them into words. They fly all around, bumping into one another, trying to feed me the information, trying to make me understand, but I can’t.

If only today were Thursday…

 

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What do you do when your imaginary friends won’t talk to you?

I’m trying to write this new story that’s forming in my head. But I’m also writing a different one, one that started months ago and I couldn’t progress with for quite some time. For months I was lost, writing whatever came to mind, just faking it, not able to write even one story I liked. Now I have two. Two different worlds, fighting against each other, trying to be the victor, the one to become alive in the pages of a book.

However, when I give voice to one, it’s only to find it silenced by the other. It’s like my imaginary friends are boycotting me.

Writer's block: when your imaginary friends all decide to boycott you and refuse to cooperate.

That’s the only time they stop fighting, when they join forces against me.

 

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